You are about to start your first travel nurse assignment, but you are filled with nerves. The anxiety you feel brings you back to your first day of school. It is natural to feel anxious about the unknown.

You are in a new location, new medical facility and you may not know what to expect. At Valley, we are here to take care of you and help you transition through your assignments as smoothly and seamlessly as possible. These 5 tips provided in our blog are aimed to set you up for success in your new travel assignment.

#1. Be on time to all shifts

The saying the “early bird catches the worm” applies to your new assignment. Being 30 to 45 minutes early for your first shift will leave a good impression on your new colleagues. To ensure that you will be on time, prepare the night before or day of if you have a night shift. This means packing your lunch, clothes and nursing tools. Double check and make sure you have accurate directions and facility phone numbers. Go to bed early to ensure that you have 8 hours of good rest and awake early enough for breakfast.

#2. Show initiative

When you start your new assignment, don’t be shy. Find the charge nurse, introduce yourself and ask to be shown around. Communication is key to success and good workflow. Communicate early and often to the charge nurse in regards to a patient’s condition, difficulty with or questions about assignments, staff, equipment or documentation tools.

#3. Take detailed report

While on shift, always review your patient’s charts (10 to 20 minutes per chart) after the report and before lunch. If you set the tone for the start of the shift, it provides the foundation for the plan of care, focus on initial assessments and interventions. Taking detailed reports and reviewing the patient’s chart during the first half of your shift will also prepare the personnel to give a knowledgeable, relevant report.

#4. Have a “When in Rome” mentality

Remember that you are a travel nurse entering a new medical facility. All hospitals may have slightly different facility policies and procedures. Make a conscious attempt to follow facility policy. However, if you are asked to perform a task or procedure you feel would place a patient in danger or you feel unqualified to perform, contact your immediate supervisor and express your concern professionally and respectfully.

#5. Practice excellent customer service

Think of your customers as every nurse, pharmacist, physician, patient, their families, etc. Treating others with respect and kindness creates an environment where being helpful and taking the extra step to solve someone’s problem is not the exception but the “norm.”

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